From intergenerational trauma to resilience: Edmonton Chinese and Indigenous youth conference builds understanding
Two groups of youth gathered in Edmonton's Chinatown this weekend to help exchange ideas and share their cultures to build greater solidarity.
For the first time in-person, youth from the Enoch Cree Nation and the local Chinese community hosted a series of panels, discussions, and forums, all centred on anti-racism and resiliency.
"We wanted to come together to build understanding between our communities and really get to know each other and building that relationship between the youth and the elders," said Eric Au, Chinese Benevolent Association of Edmonton Youth Council chair.
On Saturday, both groups participated in cultural demonstrations with a powwow, drumming circle, martial arts, and Indigenous and Chinese dances.
The focus turned to anti-racism on Sunday, with discussions demonstrating how racism and intergenerational trauma have impacted Indigenous and Chinese communities in different and parallel ways. The event culminates on Monday with a youth action planning project to help both communities concretely move forward together.
"As we grow up and go through the school system, we get an introduction to Indigenous history and the issues that non-white people face, but really, the need to learn is not very satisfied," Au added.
Eric Au, Chinese Benevolent Association of Edmonton Youth Council chair, said the pair of youth groups hope to host more events like the cultural conference in the future (CTV News Edmonton/Jessica Robb).
Dreydon Thomas, Enoch Youth Advisory Council member, explained how the Indigenous reserve system and historical attitudes and policies surrounding Chinatowns across Canada share similarities.
"Chinatowns come out of segregation in Canada, and as new Chinese immigrants used to come here they were put in areas where white people did not want to be," Au said.
"Indigenous peoples, in general, we've been placed on reservations, but also Chinese people have placed, segregated or even pushed to building in Chinatown places. That's where our groups feel comfortable and feel more like a community for ourselves.
"It's important to recognize that these spaces that come out of racist policies and disadvantages to non-white communities also create a place where we can come together and celebrate our cultures."
The youth councils hope that having these "hard-hitting" and difficult conversations will pave the way forward for a better future.
"It can get scary at times," Thomas said. "Building these relationships kind of help us in being able to tackle even bigger decisions, questions, and bigger difficulties."
"It shows the level of maturity and level of support not only to us but to different levels of government that we are able to have these conversations."
Dreydon Thomas, Enoch Youth Advisory Council member, said while discussing anti-racism can be difficult at times, finding out about shared experiences builds trust and resiliency (CTV News Edmonton/Jessica Robb).
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Sixty-five people registered to attend the weekend conference, with proceedings open to respective community members and all Edmontonians.
"If we want long-lasting solutions and we want to connect with those people, it has to be together," Au said.
For Amanda Morin, Enoch Cree Nation councillor, this weekend's conference represents the start of something greater.
"Speaking as an Indigenous woman, we were taught from our history in residential schools and colonialism to not speak," she told CTV News Edmonton. "That spaces weren't safe.
"It's super important as an Indigenous woman, as a mom, as a grandma, as a daughter, a sister, a friend, to be able to create these spaces so that our youth can start breaking those cycles of intergenerational trauma and we now call it intergenerational resiliency, so we can overcome."
As she listened to the youth and elders tackle different issues and approaches to anti-racism, Morin said she was encouraged to see the youth gain more courage to speak and engage.
"It makes me really happy," Morin said. "If you create the space, a safe space, those difficult conversations are no longer difficult and you can find a lot of love and support there.
"As each of our generations come along, they're realizing how similar we all are as humans.
"Realizing that we are not alone in a lot of things we've gone through. Regardless of our race, we're all human and being able to connect and share gives us all hope."
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jessica Robb
Edmonton Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Canada's chief of defence says Russia's invasion of Ukraine is going to change the course of history.
Hundreds of protesters descended on the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday to denounce the justice's decision to overturn the half-century-old Roe v. Wade precedent that recognized women's constitutional right to abortion.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau headed to the G7 summit in Germany on Saturday without a consensus from the Commonwealth to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but with a chorus of countries calling for help to overcome the fallout of the war.
New research looking at the frequency of heavy rainfall across the globe shows that a drastic increase in downpours is expected over the years to come.
The World Health Organization said the escalating monkeypox outbreak in nearly 50 countries should be closely monitored but does not warrant being declared a global health emergency.
Many Canadians remain unaware of the involvement of forced child labour in the products they buy, according to non-profit agency World Vision Canada.
As Pride festivities kick off around the world, many refugees are celebrating the LGBTQ2S+ community for the first time.
With the nation's capital bracing for anticipated anti-mandate 'freedom' movement protests during Canada Day weekend, interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen says her MPs are free to attend.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Saturday signed the most sweeping gun violence bill in decades, a bipartisan compromise that seemed unimaginable until a recent series of mass shootings, including the massacre of 19 students and two teachers at a Texas elementary school.
Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 321 yards and Malik Henry scored a third-quarter, go-ahead touchdown for the Calgary Stampeders in a 30-23 win over the visiting Edmonton Elks on Saturday.
Nearly 100 Ukrainian members of Calgary’s community marched in protest calling for the release of Azovstal Iron and steel workers, defending Mariupol from Russian attacks.
After the U.S. Supreme Court stripped away constitutional protections for abortion Friday by overturning Roe v. Wade, NDP Leader Rachel Notley demanded that everyone running to become the next leader of the UCP clarify their stance on the issue.
When Ennio Muzzolini walked into Christies Mayfair Bakery in 1965 interested in purchasing the small bakery on 33rd Street, he never imagined he’d one day be looking on as hundreds of people lined the block to get their hands on a baguette, cinnamon bun or wood-fired pizza.
Organizers have decided to cancel the Elk Ridge Open due to an “inordinate amount of rain.”
A Saskatoon man whose family helped to build the Waterhen Lake Church is planning to help rebuild the church.
Over 400 people contributed to the Field of Dreams project, which led to the purchase of a large track of prairie grasslands for preservation.
The Saskatchewan NDP will elect its next leader at a convention on Sunday.
Saskatchewan RCMP are investigating after a two-vehicle collision occurred at the intersection of Highway 35 and Highway 5 in Wadena.
An Amber Alert issued by Cape Breton Regional Police on Friday has been cancelled, as the missing youth has been located safe early Saturday morning says police.
The inquiry into Nova Scotia’s 2020 mass shooting, says four pages of handwritten notes that sparked a political firestorm in Ottawa this week, weren’t immediately submitted when subpoenaed by its investigators.
'It’s in shambles': RCMP 'architects of own demise,' says criminologist after complaints in N.B. and N.S.
After a week of criticism and anger at the Mass Casualty Commission in Nova Scotia, and outcry in a rural area of New Brunswick, there are questions about the RCMP’s role in community policing.
Dozens of people gathered outside the U.S. consulate in downtown Toronto Saturday to protest a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court to overturn constitutional protection for abortion rights.
Office workers are returning to Toronto but foot traffic on Mondays and Fridays hasn’t bounced back. Will it ever?
More people are commuting to offices downtown than at any point since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic but the recovery hasn’t been equal across the board, with both GO Transit and the TTC reporting fluctuations in ridership as many workers choose to work from home at the beginning and end of each week.
Every Monday, Mark Powell drives to the Burlington, Ont., pork plant where his wife died to give water to pigs on their way to slaughter.
Paramedics in Greater Montreal are stretched particularly thin this weekend, with nearly half the territory's ambulances parked due to a staffing shortage.
Police on Montreal's South Shore has located the suspect vehicle they say was involved in a hit-and-run that left a woman dead.
Friends and family of a 17-year-old girl who died in what police are calling an accident on the shore in LaSalle gathered Saturday to remember the Montreal teen who her mother said was 'was full of life.'
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | What you need to know about Canada Day events in Ottawa
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at the Canada Day activities across the city of Ottawa, including at the new location at LeBreton Flats.
The summer festival season in Ottawa kicked off this weekend with thousands gathering for events across the city.
It's going to be another hot, humid day in Ottawa, which could lead to some unsettled weather later in the day.
A fire at a townhouse complex in Kitchener Friday night has resulted in extensive damage.
Many in Waterloo Region are reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and what it could mean for Canada.
Norfolk County OPP are investigating after they say a pedestrian was found on the side of a road and had to be airlifted to hospital.
Nipissing-Timiskaming Liberal MP Anthony Rota said he was shocked by Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion ruling.
With hundreds of students from India who attend Northern College, and other professionals from India who've moved to the city to work, organizers said they felt it was time to bring everyone together to celebrate their culture with the rest of the community.
A group of friends doing work on a camp in MacGregor Bay helped contain what could have been a devastating fire in Killarney Provincial Park.
Using a trailer or an RV is an easy way for people to get out of the city and into the outdoors, but with soaring gas prices, the cost of driving with one has gone up drastically.
Winnipeg was once again pummelled by rain on Friday and the city came close to setting a rainfall record.
No one was injured but one pet died after an early morning fire Saturday.
As the first sustained heat of the season settles in across B.C.'s south coast, Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a special weather statement advising people of high temperatures and humidex values through Monday.
Metro Vancouver is experiencing its first stretch of hot summer weather this weekend and people are scouring stores looking for air conditioners and fans to cool off – some being met with empty shelves.
The family of a Vancouver police officer who died by suicide is suing the department, alleging she endured sexual assault and exploitation enabled by an "unsafe workplace culture and insufficient policies and procedures," court documents show.
A 15-month dispute in British Columbia's film and television industry has ended with the ratification of a new contract for creative and logistical staff working on productions shot in the province.
All ferry sailings between two of B.C.'s Discovery Islands have been cancelled Saturday because of a lack of crew.
When Tabi Henry was little, she never questioned why everyone celebrated her birthday in costume. Until she realized Oct. 31 was also Halloween.